Wildside-Series 1-Episodes 1-3 (1997)

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Released 11-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 236:05 (Case: 230)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter Andrikidis
Geoff Bennett
David Caesar
Lynn Hegarty
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tony Martin
Rachael Blake
Aaron Pedersen
Victoria Longley
Richard Carter
Abbie Cornish
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    It is hard to know what to say about this series that has not already been said many times before. This is arguably the best television drama series ever to be produced in Australia and during its relatively short run on the ABC (1997 - 1999) it garnered numerous awards including silver Logies for both its lead performers, Tony Martin & Rachael Blake. Of the approximately 60 episodes that were produced, three are included on this set. Hopefully this is the first of many to come. This two disc set includes the two extended opening episodes of approximately 90 minutes each and the first normal length episode of approximately 50 minutes. It seems to me slightly strange to release three episodes as the first set but it is great to see this wonderful series released at all.

    The concept of the show revolves around an inner city police station located near central station in Sydney and a nearby crisis centre for people living on the street or in squats. The main characters are:

    This is a very gritty series which does not shy away from the reality of life on the streets and the seedy world inhabited by police and those living on the streets of the inner city. It has a very confrontational style and can be frenetic and confusing, although this is by design. The opening sequence is a great example of this. It purposefully does not really allow you to fully understand what is going on before tragedy strikes. The episodes included are:

  1. (96:24) - A high-speed chase after a ram-raid results in the deaths of two police officers. Two local police suspect a group if three street kids of the crime including Joe Pelluci and Heidi Benson (a very young Rose Byrne). They raid the crisis centre looking for Joe who is known to hang out there. Into this mix comes Bill McCoy looking for his son, and as he doesn't know how to take a backward step he quickly gets police and others offside. Young rent boys start to turn up dead and Bill becomes very concerned for his son.
  2. (92:22) - Bill continues to investigate the seedy underworld looking for his son. This episode has a powerful and disturbing climax.
  3. (47:19) - Bill continues to look for his son, Reilly is accused of corruption, Maxine helps an old man who turns up at the crisis centre looking for his dead wife and Gerry starts a relationship with a homeless youth. Another compelling and powerful episode.

    This is great television, the likes of which just doesn't seem to get made in this country anymore. Shame!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good considering its age and low budget nature.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was not spectacular , however, I believe that this is at least partially due to artistic choice. There is some light grain throughout and some darker scenes show a little heavier grain.

    The colour was good throughout, with no major issues. This is not an overly colourful show as it is designed to reflect the grungy and dirty nature of the inner city.

    The only noticeable artefact was some mild and occasional aliasing on things like grilles and shutters and some jagged edges here and there.

    There are no subtitles which is a shame.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this series by Peter Best is one of its great strengths. It includes some excellent bluesy guitar and adds significantly to the creepy and seedy feel of the show.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu included music and the ability to select scenes. There was significant aliasing on the menu which was annoying.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series is not available outside of Region 4 and the discs are coded for all regions.

Summary

    A great Australian television drama series starts to be released on DVD but only three episodes are included on this set.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
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